On Saturday, vacationers and heavy vehicles were stuck in traffic on their way to a port in southern England’s Kent, with the port acknowledging that “it will be very crowded today” and travelers being warned of a four-hour wait.
The UK and France have been embroiled in a round of accusations over the deadlock, with British lawmakers blaming the French side’s staffing and French officials nodding at increased post-Brexit customs checks.
“The British are right to complain because there are traffic jams. But it’s not the French’s fault, it’s Brexit’s fault,” Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont told French public radio France Info.
“The reality is that this is the first holiday since Brexit. With the United Kingdom definitively leaving the European Union and with no travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic… joining the European Union, so it takes time,” he said.
The French MP also blamed the size of the port of Dover, which he said was “three times smaller than the port of Calais”.
Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister acknowledged that Brexit had caused delays, telling the LBC on Saturday that his team “recognizes that we are in a post-Brexit environment, which means it will take longer for transactions across borders.”
But British lawmakers insist that a shortage of personnel in Calais has clogged the cross-Channel route.
“We need action from France to ramp up capacity at the border to limit any further disruption to British tourists and ensure this dire situation is prevented in the future. We will work with the French authorities to find a solution,” Trouss said in a statement. Friday statement.
Dumont said all the booths provided by the British authorities in Dover to the French police in Dover were filled to capacity, while acknowledging a slight delay in the early hours of Friday due to a “technical failure”.
He dismissed British press allegations of a “deliberate desire to punish the British”, adding that “many French families make their living by crossing the English Channel. Sailors, men and women on land.”
P&O Ferries told passengers they could go through security at Dover on Saturday morning within four hours.
Relations between the UK and France have escalated since Britain left the European Union, with leaders from both countries squabbling over travel and migrant ships crossing the English Channel.